Mid-Atlantic Broadband Promotes STEM Learning Through Robotics Sponsorships
MBC sponsors 11 FRC teams in Southern Virginia
South Boston, VA. – November 23, 2015 – Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC) is proud to announce their commitment to sponsor the eleven FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams in Southern Virginia for the 2015-16 season. MBC is honored for the opportunity to partner with, for a fourth year, the Virginia-based affiliate of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an international non-profit mentoring organization that promotes a similar vision for students that are drawn to science and technology. Countless students, teachers, and volunteers have pledged their time and talents to this program in their workshops and ultimately in the arena, becoming leaders in a modern approach for the cultivation of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) based academics in a high school setting.
Southern Virginia is home to five veteran FRC teams. The Martinsville High MADawgs, G.W. High Team Talon (City of Danville), Altavista High Bionic Eagles, Bluestone High Skrappy’s Zoo (Mecklenburg County), and Piedmont Governor’s School for Mathematics, Science, & Technology STAGS (City of Martinsville) are the five veteran FRC teams to benefit from the annual $6,000 per team donation given by Mid-Atlantic Broadband. With this donation, the teams are able to purchase the FRC kit that is required each year for competition and are able to register for two district events in the FIRST Chesapeake District, which brings together teams from Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.
This year, six new teams from Southern Virginia are debuting in the FRC arena. The Central High Portable Chargers (Lunenburg County), Tunstall High Trojans (Pittsylvania County), Cumberland High Gold Dukes, Sussex Central High Team T.I.G.E.R.S, and Amelia County High Cyber Raiders will all be tackling the FRC challenge for the very first time. The Halifax County High Cometbots have made previous appearances in FRC competition, but have not fielded an FRC team in recent years. Each of these teams received $6,000 to help cover the yearly expenses of competing as an FRC team. MBC is also providing a challenge grant that will match each new team’s fundraising contributions dollar for dollar up to $4,000 per team.
Students participating in this program are challenged in multiple fields, including electronics, programming, pneumatics, business/marketing, etc. Each year, a new game is presented to the teams, giving these students the opportunity to expand their minds to create new solutions to the challenge that lies before them. Teams will be introduced to the 2016 challenge on January 9th and will have six weeks to design, build, code, and test a robot that executes the task that was presented to them for competition.
Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST Robotics, wished “to transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders” when he founded the program. Mid-Atlantic Broadband continues to be an advocate for this vision of workforce development in STEM-related fields, as these skills are highly desirable to companies and strengthen the workforce in Southern Virginia.
About Mid-Atlantic Broadband
Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC) is a non-profit 501(c)(4) organization, committed to bridging the digital divide, promoting economic development, reducing the burdens of government and reinvesting in communities. MBC accomplishes this by operating an advanced open access fiber optic network, providing wholesale telecommunications transport services, colocation and tower leasing. Since its inception in 2004 and by offering a state-of-the-art fiber optic network, MBC has supported the recruitment of major investments to southern Virginia including data centers, call center/operations centers, advanced manufacturing, research and development, and bio-tech industries. For more information, visit www.mbc-va.com.
Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of Governor Terry McAuliffe
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: November 13, 2015
Office of the Governor
Contact: Brian Coy
Virginia Economic Development Partnership
Contact: Suzanne Clark
Phone: (804) 545-5806
Contact: Erin Flaherty
Phone: (425) 638-7113
Governor McAuliffe Announces Fourth Microsoft Expansion in Mecklenburg County
~ Company to invest $402.4 million and create 42 new jobs~
RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Microsoft Corp. will invest $402.4 million to expand its data center site in Mecklenburg County and increase capacity to serve its growing customer base. Virginia successfully competed against other sites in the U.S. for the project, which will create 42 new jobs. Microsoft’s original project in 2010 involved an investment of up to $499 million and 50 new jobs. In 2011 the company invested an additional $150 million to expand the site, and in 2013 announced a $348 million expansion. In June 2014 Microsoft invested another $346.7 million, creating 90 new jobs
Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “Microsoft Corp. is a valued corporate partner that continues to heavily invest in Virginia. The company’s fourth expansion project represents more than $1.74 billion in total capital investment since 2010, bringing more than 200 jobs to citizens in Southern Virginia. Microsoft’s tremendous growth trajectory is a testament to the Commonwealth’s superior infrastructure and the success of our burgeoning data center industry, playing a key role in our efforts to build a new Virginia economy.”
“Microsoft’s expansion is great news for the Commonwealth and for Southside, in particular,” said Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “An existing corporate citizen is once again expanding, investing significant capital and adding new jobs. This is a true testament to the great climate for business growth in rural Virginia.”
Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
“The demand for cloud services continues to grow worldwide,” said Christian Belady, General Manager, Datacenter Strategy Planning & Development, Cloud Infrastructure and Operations at Microsoft. “Together with The Commonwealth of Virginia and the County of Mecklenburg, we’re continuing our focus to meet these customer needs by expanding capacity for our reliable, scalable, security-enhanced cloud services.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Mecklenburg County to secure the project for Virginia. Governor McAuliffe approved a $700,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Mecklenburg County with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved $1.34 million in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds for the project.
“Mecklenburg County is again very pleased to be a part of another expansion for Microsoft,” said Glenn Barbour, Chairman of the Mecklenburg County Board of Supervisors. “Our County Administrator, Wayne Carter, has worked closely with Microsoft and our state and local partners to offer all the assistance available to continue Microsoft’s growth here in Mecklenburg County. This expansion creates additional job opportunities for our citizens and greatly expands our economic base. We look forward to working with Microsoft and all of our state level partners well into the future.”
“We are delighted that Microsoft has decided to again expand operations in Mecklenburg County,” said Senator Frank Ruff, Vice Chairman of the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission. “Clearly Microsoft has found Mecklenburg a good place to do business and the county has found them to be a good corporate citizen. The Virginia Tobacco Commission has been pleased to be involved in its role with not only this expansion, but also in attracting them to the region.”
“I am delighted that Microsoft is proceeding with its fourth expansion in Mecklenburg County since the original project began in 2010,” said Delegate Tommy Wright. “All the partners working together have made the continued growth of Microsoft in Mecklenburg possible. I am also very pleased that The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission has approved $1.34 million in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds to assist with this project. The continued investment in Mecklenburg County and the creation of an additional 42 jobs is exciting news for Mecklenburg County and for the Commonwealth of Virginia.”